Mid-Year Check-In With My Word Of The Year

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A few times this year, I have had to stop and figure out what I had chosen as my word of the year, figure out where I had written it down, figure out, again, why I had chosen that word—or why it had chosen me…

My word for 2017 is, of course (if you’ve been reading along all this time), is Reclaim.

I actually thought it was a different word…deepen…but then again, I think the two are related.  they compliment one another.

Being sick so much of this year has given me all too much time to reflect on a great number of things.

I reached an epiphany in my online art classes—I have seriously had enough of them. I don’t particularly care for the communities which surround such things—at least not the ones I have seen—and I am by no means pointing to one particular person or group and saying, you suck, because I am not. I simply do not enjoy the feeling of some of these groups, even when they are couched in terms professing love and acceptance and compassion…because nearly every time I run into that well where someone is basically saying to someone, me or anyone else, I like what you did, but…and then the tear down begins—and some of these people have made an art form out of being loving and supportive, caring and nurturing, while being back stabbing passive-aggressive beasts…which is one reason that no matter how hard I try to want to take more art classes, in person and/or online…every time I try—I get fed up and I want something else. I have even tried free classes, free whatevers…and I basically balk at every one because something there does not feel genuine to me, it does not feel authentic to me.

Please note—before you get your panties in a wad—this is how I feel. These are my feelings, my words and my perspective. It has nothing to do with anyone else except me. So thank you for understanding.

Does this mean I am giving up art? No way. I love my paint. I love my pens, my pencils, my markers. I have discovered that all is not what it is cracked up to be compared to online classes versus what I can learn on my own. I have gone to an art gallery and been mesmerized. I have borrowed my daughter’s books on manga and I have been tantalized. I have fallen into stories of late where pictures are again being painted on the inside of my eyes. And I have again (and again and again and again, over and over, throughout the years) come back to that advice that I have been taught that says—who cares what anyone else is doing? Play with it and see what you come up with. And so I am.

It’s an interesting space to be in…since I have a ton of sketches I have done in the past two years that I still need to paint out—and I do fully intend to do so…i was actually working in that direction when I got so sick this last time. But there will be changes being made…slowly I am certain…but they are coming.

One thing that kept coming back up while I was sick was how much I have missed my knitting. I have several UFOs sitting around. (A UFO is an UnFinished Object, in knitter’s speak) Sheesh, I have been waiting to finish this one top-down sweater for something like two years now. I haven’t touched it in two years, except to move the bag out of the way now and then. But, while I was so sick that I couldn’t move, I started ogling yarn porn…which consists of lots of time on ravelry, digging around, adding projects to my queue that I want to do some day. It also made me think about the stack of knitting patterns that I have had written back in 2007…and yes, they are still sitting here. I think I have only test-knit two o the patterns. It struck me that 1 I am insane enough to actually want to knit a wedding ring shawl – you know, a huge shawl that is so light and knit from such thread-like yarn, incredibly intricate in design, and yet it can be pulled through a wedding ring…yep…and I am not that much of a lace knitter really…charts are difficult for me to follow…2 I want to test knit as many of those original patterns as I can and get them up for sale. One particular project is about a particular shawl and I have most of the work for an actual study course leading up to the creation of a shawl—a workshop, not a knitter’s workshop per se, but more of a spiritual quest—and that is where I seem to want to be heading.

It’s not about the knitting. It’s not about the painting. It’s about the intention, the heart and soul, the love, the connection to Self and to the Divine…and that is the basis of my work, of my life…

Because as I have sat here, with the herd of what I call (thanks to Firestarter by Stephen King) my migraine migrant herd of bellowing stallions—all of them centered in the middle of my face, tearing around in my sinus cavities, ripping things to shreds with sharp pointy lava-made hooves, pondering things—for nigh on a month, ya’ll– it struck me that I had somewhere along the line lost my grip on what I hold dear and holy—which first of all starts with Home as Sanctuary…having relied on people while the youngest was a baby…and relied upon them more once I had then gotten sick and then depressed after…things happened…and that depression has been a hard thing to shake…I know I am not done dealing with that … but I have finally reached a space where I am able to deal with it instead of being laid out and laid low by it…which means I can start working, however slowly (especially at this very moment with this constant croup attack ongoing) I may go, to take back all of the tasks that I have been unable and/or unwilling to do—minus the chores of the teen-ager/s, because I am not about to deny them the ability and the responsibility of being responsible and of pitching in to help out to make this an actual family and not just a bunch of people who happen to live in the same house at the moment.

Something else that has come back into the spotlight of my heart is…my writing. And that feels good. Not to mention, now there is a new element to things. The artwork. I lack the skill, I lack the ability to draw the exact same face/person/creature exactly the same time after time, so don’t expect anything as prosaic as a comic (my oldest has expressed an interest in such though…so keep an eye out for that…), but I can feel something coming. Some of the old spark that I used to have when I worked with Heather Blakey and the SoulFood Cafe.

Now that SFC is no longer  running, although all the prompts remain up for those who are interested, the idea of doing a journey, of using the format of the Hero’s Journey, or perhaps now the Heroine’s Journey because it feels more authentic to me in my space now, to create something along those lines, in that tradition…I can see it happening. What am I saying? It is happening. I have my first selection written up—I just have to type it up and post it. (That’s a spoiler alert for you.)

The things that mean the most to me are coming back into play…and it feels good to stretch out my broken tattered wings again and to feel the warm winds of the summer stroking them. The sunshine and the moonlight gently bring health back, filling in the broken places. The breeze carelessly rushing by, knocking loose the cobwebs and the detritus that have for so long held me back. The rag has been taken from my eyes and even though I am still blinking in the harshness of the rediscovered light, I am starting to see once more. I am heading towards that Light, the Flame that is my Heart, the Divine Light within…and that is where I shine.

And yes, I am more than willing to share that light as I move forward and have more to share.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

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